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Passenger traffic surges, cargo stutters

( The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released Mar-07 traffic results showing that international passenger traffic demand rose by 7.8% year–on-year - the largest single month increase recorded in a year. Average international passenger load factors remained high at 76.4%. Strong economies drove demand for airlines in the Asia Pacific region (+6.9% RPK), while Middle East carriers continued their three-year trend of double-digit passenger demand growth in Mar-07 (+20.4%). Since 2001, Middle Eastern carriers have increased their overall share of global traffic from 5% to 8%.
Airports worldwide report a robust 7% year-on-year increase in total passenger traffic for Mar-07, according to Airports Council International (ACI). International traffic rose sharply by 11% and domestic more modestly by 4%.

Meanwhile, international freight traffic demand continued a 12-month run of sluggish growth, with a 2.3% increase year-on-year. Freight demand in Asia was slightly better, at +4.3% in Mar-07, although trade imbalances resulted in lower load factors on inbound aircraft, according to IATA. ACI airport data also shows Mar-07 worldwide volumes slowed considerably (-0.2%, trimming the 1Q07 increase to 3.6% (with international up 5.1% and domestic up 1%).

The airline body attributes the sluggish freight market to competition from other modes of transport. ACI meanwhile stated that in North America, some of the larger hubs indicate a nationwide trend of cargo carriers consolidating flown freight into regional carriers and trucking them out to other cities. In the Middle East, some cities report that passenger airlines, due to the very competitive nature of the business, are giving priority to passenger loads, reducing the freight tonnage carried. In Asia Pacific, strong competition between hubs, lower demand from the US market and the impact of slowing electronic sector were cited as factors.

Whatever the cause, it is clear that freight will not contribute to airline earnings in the robust way the passenger segment is poised to do.

Copyright. © Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation

Note to editors:
About Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation
The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) was founded in 1990 and has since built an international reputation as the leading specialist aviation consultancy in the Asia Pacific, the Indian Subcontinent and Middle East regions. CAPA Consulting’s strategic advisory services are supported by the extensive information and data services provided by the Centre’s Market Research Unit to aviation industry leaders every day. The Centre also holds regular Aviation Leadership Summits, which provide unique opportunities for the exchange of ideas and experiences.

Head Office, Sydney:
Derek Sadubin, Chief Operating Officer
Aurora Place, Level 36, 88 Phillip St Sydney
PO Box N777, Grosvenor Place Sydney, NSW Australia 2000
Southeast Asia Regional Office:
Alice Goh, Regional Director, Southeast Asia
Indian Subcontinent and Middle East Office:
Kapil Kaul, CEO Indian Subcontinent & Middle East
UK/Europe Office:
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North America Regional Office:
Martti Raito, Regional Director, North America
North Asia Representatives:
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Japan: Reiko Sonoyama. Email:
More information is available on the Centre’s

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